Author's Note-So this was my contribution to Prompts in Panem (PiP) for Day 6, Sloth. It was a grueling trip back to the Spin!Universe, but much like going to the gym, it feels good now that it's done, haha.
Thank you to ILoVeRynMar, Streetlightlove, Pookieh and HGRomance who all preread and swooned over Spin!Peeta and pushed me like good fanfic trainers should.
Thanks to Jessa (misshoneywell) and Shannon (nmoreblack) for a phenomenal week of amazing stories. I still owe lots of talented authors reviews.
And a HUGE thank you to RoNordmann for the AWESOME cover/banner. Yum.
Rated M for…yeah, you know. Enjoy!
The shrill shriek of the alarm startles Katniss out of a perfectly pleasant sleep, and it's not until she feels the soft fluttering of his lips on her bare shoulder that she dares lift her head from the pillow to open one sleep-crusted eye at him.
"Are you getting up with me this morning?" His mouth moves down the back of her arm, feathering light kisses across her cool skin, and she mumbles an incoherent reply into the pillow as she extends her torso and raises her rear end while she stretches. "Hmm?" His lips are suddenly on her ear, his tongue darting out to trace the innermost shell, his hot breath sending pleasant tremors through her lethargic body.
Sighing, she twists her body and shifts onto her back, fully opening her eyes to meet the brilliant blue eyes of her boyfriend. "I said I don't think so." She rests her palm on Peeta's sculpted bicep and rubs the defined muscles of his arm slowly. She feels a little guilty at the flicker that immediately appears in those hypnotic orbs.
"You haven't come to one of my classes for a few weeks now," he says, pouting playfully, but she thinks she hears a tint of genuine disappointment coloring his voice. She reaches up and cups his cheek tenderly, and the stubble flecking his jaw scratches her palm as he nuzzles it.
"I didn't realize you liked having me in your class so much," she purrs softly. He smiles down at her and purses his lips before descending on her mouth.
"Please. Do you have any idea how much you motivate me?" His lips move to the hollow of her throat and one palm covers her breast and fondles it, earning a contended sigh to fall from her parted lips. "There's nothing better than being in the front of the room, looking out onto that sea of sweaty students and seeing my incredibly sexy girlfriend effortlessly pedaling away with her skin glistening while I imagine all the different ways I'm going to fuck her later that night."
Katniss moans, the rough passion in his tone sending a flood of wet heat between her legs. "See, that's the problem, Peeta." She chokes on another moan when Peeta's tongue drags along the curve of her collarbone then winds a path across her breast before rolling around her nipple. "It's kind of hard—"
He grabs her hand and thrusts it over his erection. "No, it's very hard," he growls, and she giggles, gripping him firmly.
"Okay, it's very hard to get motivated to get out of a warm comfy bed at the ass crack of dawn every Monday when my incredibly sexy boyfriend gives me such a good workout right at home."
His hand stills on her breast and the other one comes up to caress her cheek, his knuckles gently brushing her jaw, his demeanor visibly altered. "Did you just call my bed 'home'?"
She flushes and her heart stutters. Did she? Her pulse is suddenly galloping through her veins, as restless as a wild horse, and her mouth goes dry.
In the four months she and Peeta have been dating, things have been perfect—a little too perfect, actually. They slipped into domestic bliss so easily, so naturally that it shocked her. She spends most nights in his bed, having stashed the usual spare set of pajamas and necessary toiletries in his bathroom, and the other evenings he crashes at her place.
But last week when they were making dinner in her apartment—okay, Peeta was making dinner and she was stirring the béchamel sauce with a wooden spoon, trying to be helpful—he had stunned her by casually mentioning living together. It had been a brief conversation, and she wasn't entirely certain he was serious, but ever since, the thought had taken root in her conscious mind, and it's germinated, winding around her insecurities like an insidious vine.
The cynic in her is just waiting for something or someone—okay, herself—to sabotage their idyllic courtship. Katniss has never been good at relationships. She loves fiercely and intensely, and thus she is wary of letting anyone get too close, lest she get burned if she falls first. It terrifies her that she can already see herself with his ring on her finger, with his children growing inside her, creating a life together. And so that same seed of self-doubt that made her question Peeta's interest in her when she first laid eyes on him in his spin studio lies dormant beneath the surface, waiting to sprout anew. She can't help but wonder why a self-assured, handsome, ambitious guy like Peeta even wants to be with an altogether average girl like her.
And then there are the looks of disbelief from Peeta's coworkers and the other women who are regulars in the class whenever she walks into the gym. She senses the whispers behind her back when she leaves the studio, Peeta's fingers laced through hers. She should revel in the pride of being on his arm, knowing she is the one he goes home with and makes love to nearly every night. Instead, the looks and the whispers only fuel her insecurity that Peeta will come to his senses and realize that yes, he can do much better. After all, it has only been fourmonths. There's still plenty of time for him to change his mind about her—about them.
"I need to get up and get going," he murmurs, nipping at the skin below her jaw, and she's relieved that as he did the other day, he lets the cohabitating matter drop without another word. "Are you sure you don't want to join me this morning?"
"Maybe Thursday afternoon," she replies, pulling the sheet up over her bare breasts when he rolls off the bed and crosses the bedroom. "Someone tired me out last night." Her eyes linger on his rounded, taut ass and the strong muscles of his upper thighs. He turns and smirks at her cheekily when he catches her ogling him. Her vision wanders to the prominent V-shape defining his pelvic muscles and she clenches her legs together to alleviate some of the mild tension building as she gawks at his hard-on.
"You'll use the spare key I keep by the front door?" he asks as he tugs a pair of bike shorts on over his fitted boxer briefs, adjusting the bulge in the crotch from his deflating erection. She nods and sits up, the sheet falling to her waist, exposing her breasts to him, and she lazily brings her arms above her head. His gaze is hungry when he pulls his fitted Under Armour tee over his head, and he is by her side in seconds again, tugging the sheet back up over her chest. "Don't tempt me, sweetheart. Listen, I have my last training session at seven. Can you wait to eat until eight? I'll grab something and come to your place."
"You cooked for me last night. So how about I pick something up and have it ready for you. Thai good?"
Once he's kissed her goodbye and left the apartment, she burrows back down under the sheets and only feels a little guilty for her laziness, sleeping two more hours in his bed before showering and leaving for work, remembering to slip the spare key back under the door once she's locked up.
It's not an alarm that rouses Katniss Tuesday morning; it's Peeta's tongue. At the first hot jolt between her thighs, her eyes fly open, struggling to focus on the mussed blond curls and the wicked grin as her resting heartbeat spikes and the delicious tightening furls in her belly. Within minutes, he has her falling apart, crying his name so loudly that she's sure the neighbors will be pounding on her door or calling the cops. As the tendrils of bliss meander through her body, Peeta crawls up her body and captures her lips, the lingering taste of her own arousal on his tongue.
"That was some wake up call," she muses, kneading his shoulder muscles as he litters her neck with gentle bites.
"I couldn't leave without saying a proper goodbye," he replies, pressing one last kiss to her mouth as he climbs off her and searches the floor for the clothes that she so impatiently stripped off him last night.
She raises herself onto her elbows, still feeling boneless from her orgasm, and watches him step into his jeans, easing them over his hips and fastening the button. "You're leaving this early?"
He nods. "I'm going to head to the gym and lift for a bit before I head to class." As he pulls his shirt on over his bare chest, he looks at her expectantly. "Did you want to come with me?"
She throws back the sheet fully and rises from the bed, sauntering toward him. "I just came. Isn't it your turn?"
"Very cute," he snickers, drawing her to him and cupping her ass. "I'm serious, Katniss. Why don't you come along? You could spot for me and I could show you a few easy machines that you could start using."
She hesitates. The benefit of going with him is she could spend an hour admiring her boyfriend's perfect body, watching the cords in his muscles tense and contract.
But when she considers that she's never lifted a weight in her life or sat on one of those contraptions that resemble a medieval torture device, her insecurity mounts. Spinning came surprisingly easy to her, but she fears looking like a complete fool and embarrassing herself in front of Peeta—and in turn, embarrassing him in front of others. Besides, this morning her muscles ache more than usual and her groin is completely sore from the very enthusiastic sex they had on her couch after they had polished off their take-out and a bottle of Riesling.
"Another morning." She rises on her toes and presses a kiss to his chin before tipping it down to claim his mouth fully. "I should go in to work early myself and get some paperwork done. It's been piling up." Not entirely untrue.
"Okay, then." Peeta gives her a quick kiss and releases her, checking his pocket for his car keys and quirking his lips at her. She leans against the wall outside her bedroom and wiggles her fingers at him as he leaves.
She crawls back under her covers and it's her own damn fault when she drifts off and winds up oversleeping, making her forty-five minutes late for work.
Thursday is not the best of days. Katniss has to make two different home visits and neither one goes particularly well. By the time she gets back to her office and begins updating the case files, the afternoon quickly slips away from her and it's four o'clock before she even glances at the clock. Her back hurts, her eyes are strained, and she wants nothing more than to draw a hot bath and let the steaming water comfort her aching body.
When the text from Peeta comes in, she cringes as she reads his words, which are hopeful even on the iPhone's screen.
Peeta: Am I going to be making you sweat this afternoon? ;)
She sighs and picks up the phone. He answers immediately, and the expectant edge to his greeting exacerbates her shame. Her fingers toy with the stapler on her desk as she relates the details of her lousy morning and even worse afternoon and hesitantly tells him that she's not going to make it to spin. She tries to lessen the blow by lowering her voice and suggesting that she can clean off his sweat if he joins her in her bathtub after he finishes up at the gym, but her stomach flips nervously at the discontent she thinks she hears in his tone when he replies that he'll call her when he's done with his class.
She's a tautly strung quiver when she finally leaves her office at quarter after five, drives home and reheats the leftover Chicken Milanese that Peeta had made them last night. Her eyes flit to her phone for the better part of the next hour, her anxiety mounting again as it nears 6:30. He couldn't be angry with her—could he?
By ten minutes to seven, her phone is still silent. She sheds her clothes, winds her hair into a bun and when the bubbling, perfumed water nears the top of the tub, she steps in and sinks down almost beneath the surface, closing her eyes as she struggles not to panic. Didn't she know she'd fuck this up sooner or later? Why didn't she just suck it up and go to the class—if for anything, for him?
A quiet knock on the apartment door sends her lurching upright in the warm water, sloshing suds over the edge, and she yanks her towel off the bar, hastily wraps it around her and rushes to the door, her heart flooding with relief as she peers out of the peep hole and is met with those impossibly blue eyes. She throws open the door and leads him inside, snaking her arms around his neck and drawing his mouth down to hers. He laughs quietly against her lips, sets down his bag, and unravels her towel. Katniss eyes the bag and the corners of her mouth lift optimistically.
"Does this mean you're staying here tonight?" she asks, motioning to the bag, which she now sees is not his gym bag but his overnight tote.
Peeta nods slowly, his gaze predatory as he licks his lips, and her pulse quickens when one strong arm sweeps under her knees and he hauls her naked body into his arms, the dripping bathwater from her skin soaking into his t-shirt and shorts.
"There's chicken left from last night," she murmurs against his neck, her stomach tightening in anticipation when he moves purposefully towards the bathroom.
"Not hungry," he growls. "Not for food anyway."
She grins and soon he's as naked as she is, and he has her cradled flush against him in the tub, bubbles engulfing them, his palms kneading her breasts and his lips ravaging her neck.
She swears to herself that Monday morning, she'll be back on that fucking spin bike.
Sunday night, her body decides it has other ideas. She and Peeta are entwined on his couch, her legs sandwiched between his as she idly scratches the back of his neck. Her other hand migrates to his groin and begins gently squeezing his flaccid cock through his shorts, and she is about to sink to her knees and free his erection when her stomach pitches and a fierce wave of nausea crests through it. Peeta glances at her in alarm as she stumbles to her feet and barely reaches the bathroom before gagging and expelling her dinner into the toilet.
Twenty minutes later, he's stroking her damp hair and dabbing a cool washcloth on her forehead as she trembles violently. He carries her to his bed, and she spends the rest of the evening through the early morning alternating between feverish sweats and intense chills. Peeta calls her out of work, arranges for someone to take his Monday morning class and cancels his two personal training sessions. He spends the day tending to her, though she is only semi-conscious enough to appreciate his kindness.
It takes forty-eight hours for the vicious flu bug to leave her system and for her to be able to even keep down the chicken broth that Peeta coaxes her to eat to begin to get her strength back. She finally feels up to returning to work on Wednesday, and by Thursday afternoon, she manages to throw on her workout attire and drive to the gym, even though her body still feels sluggish.
There are only two tickets left for Peeta's class when she arrives, and as she walks towards the spin studio, she spies him in the hall outside the room, engaged in conversation with a lithe, busty blonde who is a little too animated in her talk and much too free with her hands. Katniss narrows her eyes as she watches the bimbo throw her head back in laughter and place her manicured hand on Peeta's forearm. Immediately, the jealous girlfriend in her emerges. She quickens her pace and reaches his side in a few seconds flat.
"Hey," Peeta greets her warmly, and she grins inwardly in triumph as the blonde's face contorts in irritation at the disruption. Katniss seizes the opportunity to place her palm possessively on Peeta's left pectoral muscle, and she slants her mouth over his for a sensual kiss, her tongue teasing his briefly. He releases her, his blue eyes darkening imperceptibly as the blonde huffs into the studio, leaving them alone outside the door. "What are you doing here?" he asks, cupping her cheek, concern apparent in his expression.
"Um…letting my boyfriend give me a workout," she replies, smiling as his thumb rubs at her jaw tenderly. "And for a change, not the naked kind," she adds.
"Katniss, you're getting over the flu. There's no way rigorous cardiac activity is a good idea."
She pouts and steps closer to him. "But I promised you—"
He presses a finger firmly to her lips. "I think I can wait a little longer to get you back on a spin bike. Besides, you need to save your energy for me. Not being with you these past four days has felt like four months." His teeth graze her earlobe and he murmurs, "So your place or mine tonight?"
She splays a hand over his muscular back and cuts her eyes at two women who gawk at Peeta and give her a suspicious glance as they approach the studio. "Mine," she says thickly, clutching his bicep with her other hand. "Definitely mine."
Fridays have come to be Katniss's least favorite day of the week because since Peeta began his sports medicine doctoral program at Temple a few weeks ago he spends much of Friday at the clinic where he will be doing his residency and then heads right to the gym for several personal training sessions. But his eight o'clock is perpetually late, so often by the time Katniss gets to see him, it's usually after ten and he's drained. Last Friday, he was too tired to do much beyond fall asleep in her lap in front of the television.
Today she shoots him a text at lunch, asking if she can treat him to dinner that evening, and when his reply comes through, she can't suppress the dejection that courses through her.
Peeta: my 8pm canceled on me but another client wants to make up a session from earlier in the week. I havent sat down once today and think im just gonna head home after I lock up the gym. can we make a date for tomorrow night?
Disappointed, she reluctantly agrees and shoves her phone back in her bag.
But when she finishes up work at five, she decides she can at least surprise him to grab something to eat together at the little café in the gym before his first client at six. She pulls into the parking lot and gives a little wave to the girl at the desk as she enters. The girl—who has the ridiculous name of Cashmere (which is a fucking fabric, not a name) and who Katniss suspects, like every other woman at the place, has her eye on Peeta—calls out to her. "Are you looking for Peeta?"
Katniss turns and meets the blonde's smug expression. "Um, yeah, I am."
"He's got a class."
Katniss arches a brow at the girl and then narrows her eyes. "No, he has a few personal training sessions tonight. I thought I'd surprise him before he gets started."
"No," she smirks back, "he has a class. He's filling in for Cato, who took his class the other day when Peeta called out." Cashmere motions to the clock. "It's the four-thirty, so you can either wait for him or I can tell him you stopped by."
Sure you will, she thinks darkly."Thanks, I'll wait," she replies, stalking off towards the spin studio. As she settles on the bench outside the darkened room, she can hear Peeta's confident timbre rising over Kurt Cobain's ragged snarls. She fiddles with the hem of her skirt and tries not to let her self-doubt propel her towards the exit. Why didn't he tell me about the make up class? She was the reason he had to make arrangements for a substitute for his Monday morning class; knowing Peeta, he probably didn't want her feeling badly about it. Having to sub on his most exhausting day because of her certainly raises more guilt in her.
When she hears Peeta announce the cool down and people start to filter out of the studio, she stands, feeling ridiculously overdressed in her silk blouse and her grey pencil skirt and her heels among the lycra-and-cotton attired gym rats. As she sidles into the doorway, her fingers instinctively tighten, her nails cutting crescent grooves into her palm.
Peeta leans against his spin bike, his blond hair matted with perspiration, his muscled arms crossed in front of his chest, and the lazy, sexy smile she loves so much is directed at a petite brunette with killer abs and tits twice as big as hers. Katniss's spine stiffens, and her throat constricts as Peeta laughs and the girl subtly arches her back towards him. The lusty look in the girl's eyes is so obvious that Katniss finds her own gaze riveted to Peeta. How can he not see that this little slut is clearly hitting on him? And then her stomach plunges in a free fall—what if he's enjoying it? He sure looks to be flirting right back. Is this why he didn't tell her about the make up class? What if he just didn't want her here today?
Her mind reels back to yesterday when she arrived for his class, intending to spin, and he was chatting amiably with that hot blonde. He had told her it wasn't a good idea for her to work out on account of her recent bout with that stomach bug, but he sure hadn't held back last night when he fucked her against the tiny island in her kitchen and then again in her bed just before they fell asleep. Her cheeks flush at the memory of how powerfully he drove into her, how hard he made her come—three times.
Paranoia supplants her jealousy, and she spins on her heel to flee. She's halfway up the corridor when she hears his honeyed voice calling her name. Though it's childish, she doesn't turn around, and she hears him call her name again more desperately as the automatic doors glide open and she rushes to her car.
She lays her head down on the steering wheel and takes a deep draw of oxygen, but the ache in her lungs makes it difficult to use the breath to cleanse herself. Part of her waits for a tap on the window, his handsome face on the other side of the glass, but it never comes. After a while, she slumps down in her seat and tries to collect her frantic thoughts. The last time she ran off like this had been the night that he had confessed his attraction to her. She had been jealous of that redhead talking to Peeta then too.
Her veins crackle as she remembers the carnal look in Peeta's eyes when she had returned for her keys and he had advanced upon her, dangling them teasingly in front of her before he had kissed her for the first time. It was the same look he had given her last night when he had come over after his class. It's the same look he always gives her before they make love.
For all the women she's seen eye-fucking him and fawning all over him and throwing themselves at him, she's never seen that wanton flicker of lust in those blue irises directed at anyone other than her.
How could she ever think about questioning him?
Invigorated, she pops the trunk and grabs the spare gym bag that she keeps there and hops out of the car and strides back towards the entrance. Scanning her membership ID, she ignores the accusatory glare from Cashmere as she heads downstairs to the locker rooms, changes quickly, snaps her hair into a ponytail and stalks to the open, expansive space that houses the machines—and where the personal training sessions are held.
Her eyes roam the vast area until they land on the mop of blond waves, and she sees Peeta leaning over a shapely brunette who must be at least twice his age. Katniss studies him as he guides the woman through a series of abdominal crunches, his smile warm and encouraging. She waits patiently until Peeta glances up and meets her gaze, his face registering surprise first, but when Katniss gives him a coy smile and struts to the treadmill nearest to him he shakes his head at her.
She sets the machine to a low speed and begins to walk leisurely, keeping her eyes trained on the televisions and avoiding sneaking occasional peeks at Peeta. At least forty minutes must pass before she allows herself to glance over. He appears to be finishing up with the woman, who bats her eyelashes at him and extends her hand. Peeta shakes it politely, and Katniss punches the treadmill controls, letting the belt slow, and she hops off. She hastily cleans the machine and saunters towards where he stands but then continues walking past him to one of the leg presses. It looks harmless enough and should suffice for what she has in mind.
She keeps her eyes locked on Peeta's as she adjusts the weights and takes a seat. As she begins to tense her thighs, she repeatedly squeezes and contracts them as she sets a rhythm with the apparatus. Arching her back, she thrusts out her chest and suppresses a grin when Peeta's chest swells and he begins to move towards her. But he doesn't make it more than a few feet when a slightly chubby blonde girl bounces in front of him and Katniss watches his face fall. Apparently, his next client is early.
Peeta eyes her over the girl's head, and Katniss pouts at him as she stands and raises her leg, bending her knee and placing her foot on the bench to stretch her calf muscles slightly. She teasingly rubs the pads of her fingers over them and does a couple of lunges before she moves on to some kind of leg lift. She sits down and hooks her ankles over the padded bar near the floor.
"You put your feet underneath," an unfamiliar voice says from her left.
She looks up. A tall, muscular guy with hair just a few shades darker than Peeta's smiles down at her. She grimaces and shifts her feet so the bar touches the tops of her sneakers and then straightens her legs, bracing the muscles as she lifts. The guy's grin broadens and he nods his approval. "Just like that. Good."
"Um, thanks," she says, and she waits for him to walk off. But he claims the machine next to her and adjusts the pin in the weight bars several notches down. He lies down and angles his face towards her and grins again. She gives him a polite smile in return and then searches the floor for Peeta. She finds him beside the blonde girl as she struggles with squats. He doesn't look up.
"I take it you're not a regular or you're new here?"
Katniss stares at the guy next to her, wrinkling her nose. "Um, not new. I just don't use the machines that much."
The guy smirks. "I could tell. But you're doing great so far."
As he continues to talk, Katniss doesn't bother to listen as she tries in vain to command Peeta's attention, but this time, he is focused on his client, and as Katniss rises from the bench, there's a good burn in her tired muscles and she decides she's had enough.
She makes her way out of the maze of machines and passes Peeta, and she frowns at the sight of his hands on the pudgy girl's hips as he demonstrates another series of squats. He finally glances up and flashes her that lazy, sexy smile and she gets an idea. Licking her lips, she turns her head, ponytail swishing and as she runs up the stairs, she darts into the women's locker room, retrieves her bag from the locker she uses, and makes her way towards the offices in the front of the gym. The narrow corridor beyond the front desk appears deserted; most of the classes have long since ended, so few instructors remain at this hour. She waits until the blonde at the entrance is engaged in an article in the Cosmopolitan magazine open on the counter and walks briskly down the dim hallway.
Peering over her shoulder, she slips through the door marked 'Employees' Locker Room' and is relieved to find it empty. She strips off her damp sports bra and leggings and stuffs them back into her gym bag, then pulls out her work clothes and heels. Smiling surreptitiously, she opens Peeta's locker and sees his street clothes hanging neatly from the hooks. She shoves them into her own gym bag and reaches up to let her lacy bra dangle from the hook. With another wicked smirk to herself and a thrill lancing down her spine, she balances her panties over the locker's narrow handle and creates a trail to the sauna with her blouse and skirt and heels.
The hazy steam causes her to blink several times as she steps inside the sauna. The heat raises dewy beads instantaneously on her naked skin, and she closes her eyes and leans back against the wall to wait.
Some time later, when her body is feeling deliciously light and she's pretty sure she's nodded off once or twice from the tranquil solitude, she hears a slight creak and her name cuts through the heated fog in a suggestive whisper. She opens her eyes and her body tenses as Peeta emerges from the mist, a white towel slung low on his defined hipbones. She sees his chest inflate and his eyes darken.
"You're overdressed," she chides, rising off the bench. Her fingers reach for his waist, but his hand clamps around her narrow wrist and grips it tightly.
"You are going to be the death of me," he says roughly.
"Yes, you." He tosses something onto the bench and then his other hand splays over her spine and coaxes her closer to him. "You have no idea the effect you have on me. From the minute I saw you on that treadmill, you were all I could think about. And then you went and had to start using that leg press."
"Did you like that?" she whispers.
"Fuck yes," he growls. "But I imagined those legs of yours were wrapped around my waist, squeezing me tight, and my cock was thrusting in and out of you, making you scream my name. I'm sure both my clients tonight had their shittiest trainings in weeks because I was so distracted."
"Hmmm." She levers up on her toes and grazes her lips along the curve just beneath his strong jaw. "I'm pretty sure your clients are always equally distracted given the way they were looking at you." He stares at her for several expectant moments.
"Are you jealous, Katniss?" He leans down and the voracious gleam in his eyes steals her ability to think clearly, leaving her only capable of a meek nod. "Is that why you didn't stop when I called your name earlier tonight?" She shrugs, suddenly embarrassed by how foolish she acted. "Is that why you came back to give me that little show?"
She bites her lip and nods again. "I'm sorry I've been avoiding your spin class and putting off working out with you. I've been a bad girlfriend." She gasps and her eyes flutter closed as he flings his towel to the floor and presses his stiffened cock against her abdomen. "I'm…" She swallows her words as his mouth moves to the slope of her neck and starts suckling the sweaty skin there.
"Shhh. I accept your apology," he mumbles, his tongue licking a path along her collarbone. "You know you have nothing to worry about though," he whispers, rubbing his thumbs over her cheekbones tenderly. "I'm not an idiot, Katniss. I've had women throwing themselves at me since I first started working here in college. But you, you're the first woman—the only woman—who I've ever given a second glance to. The only one I've fucked in supply closets and shower stalls and about a half-dozen other places around here that could probably get me fired."
She shivers with pleasure in spite of the heat. "I know. I trust you, Peeta."
"Good. Because I hope I've never given you a reason to doubt me." He brushes his lips below her ear lobe and exhales, grinning when her body twitches as another frisson of desire curls through her. "But while we are on the subject, how do you think I liked it when that guy started talking to you by the leg lift?"
"That guy was just showing me how to use the machine the right way."
Peeta chuckles and strokes her ponytail, playing with the fringe of hair at the bottom. "Didn't I tell you that you have no idea the effect you can have? He was hitting on you, Katniss."
Her heart hiccoughs, and she gapes at him. "Were you jealous, Peeta?"
"At first." He pauses. "But you see, I like that other men want what they can't have—what I have and get to have every night. You're mine, Katniss. You've never given me a reason to doubt you." He kisses her softly before his blue eyes become molten and her abdomen tightens in anticipation. "And little envy never hurt anyone."
She steps back and narrows her eyes as she wraps her fingers around his swollen cock and squeezes, a growl erupting from his throat. "I still might have to stake my claim on you." His fingers dig into her scalp as she slinks down his naked torso and sheathes her mouth around his shaft.
"Oh, fuck, Katniss," he moans as she crouches before him and encourages him to thrust in and out of her mouth. His other hand tugs on her ponytail while she alternates swirling her tongue around his head and laving it up and down. She sucks vigorously, keeping a good pace, and soon his hips start to falter in their steady gyrations and he yanks her hair harder, causing him to slip from her lips. His eyes are glassy as he stares down at her. "I don't want to come yet. And if you don't stop now, I'm going to."
She runs her tongue around the tip of his cock once more and then stands back up, kissing him feverishly. His mouth matches her movements and their tongues mate heatedly, Peeta taking the initiative to draw hers between his teeth. His hands find purchase on her hips and he walks her backwards to the sauna bench, spinning her around so she faces him as he sinks down to a seated position and she scrambles into his lap, hovering just over his thick cock. "This—" She reaches down and grabs it. "—is mine," she purrs, angling it up to rub through the wet heat between her legs, moaning appreciatively when he comes in contact with her throbbing clit.
"Katniss," he hisses as she places her hands on his broad shoulders and descends on him, feeling the delicious stretch as he fills her completely, and she tosses her head back, lacing both their hands together as she starts to undulate her pelvis. Peeta moans when she rises and falls repeatedly, but he freezes inside her and his eyes fill with uncertainty, cutting to the corner of the bench. "The condom. I tossed one over there when I—"
"No condom," she whispers, pinning him with her gaze. "Do you trust me?" He nods, the blue pools shining anew with lust. "Good, cause I don't want anything between us anymore. I want to feel all of what's mine."
"You're fucking unreal."
"And you're mine," she repeats, rolling her hips. He smiles lazily at her and resumes his own thrusts as she slants her mouth over his and flattens her breasts against his slick chest. He kisses her back with equal passion, surging up into her again and again. Placing one hand on the small of her back, he arcs her breasts up to his waiting mouth, and she keens quietly when his lips capture one nipple, flicking his tongue back and forth over the tight bud. His other hand slithers down her stomach and his fingers curl over her clit, and she bucks into his touch. His teeth tug at her nipple, and when he releases it from his mouth, he exhales slowly and deliberately; the air from his mouth is cooler than the sultry heat of the sauna, and she shudders from the contrasting sensations. Beads of sweat stipple both their skin, and Peeta's curls fall limply across his forehead.
He drags his tongue along the swells of her breasts. "This goes both ways, you know. These are mine, Katniss…and this is mine too," he growls, pressing his thumb forcefully against her clit and juts his hips up, plunging deeper into her. "And your pussy is mine…every…fucking…inch of you…is… mine." She whimpers and begins rocking more insistently, screwing her eyes shut as the intense pleasure builds in her core. Peeta's thrusts become more sporadic, and she can tell he's struggling to keep from losing control. His fingers start circling her clit more frantically, and his name falls from her lips. "That's my girl," he murmurs. "Come for me."
"No, Peeta, come with me," she pleads, gasping for air to soothe her searing lungs. He groans and with a few final jerks, he spills himself inside her just as her walls constrict and clench him greedily.
"Oh, fucking hell." He slumps back against the sauna wall, pulling her down to tighten his embrace on her as he finishes twitching and finally stills within her. Her chest heaves against his, and she feels the rapid staccato of both their heartbeats as their bodies attempt to regain control after their orgasms. That delicious weightlessness has returned, and she utters a meek protest when he stands and her feet find the floor as he eases her off him. His mouth covers hers and lures her into a sensual kiss. "Are you coming home with me after I lock up?" he whispers. "Cause I'm not through with you."
She drags her thumb over the curve of his lower lip, swollen from their incessant kissing. "We should probably talk about that, shouldn't we?"
She smiles coyly. "Whose place we're going to be calling home."
One year later…
"Is this bike taken?"
Katniss glances up from where she is adjusting the handlebars of her spin bike to find a moderately attractive, dark-haired guy grinning at her, a towel slung over his shoulder, water bottle in hand. She shrugs. "I don't think so." She tugs on the bars to ensure they're locked to her satisfaction and steps to the side to change the setting for her seat.
The guy tosses his towel over the bars of the adjacent bike and places his water bottle in the holder, and Katniss senses his gaze on her as she fiddles with the seat. "I've never done this before," he says. "Maybe you could show me what you're doing with your bike." He thrusts out his hand. "I'm Marvel."
Is his fucking serious? He's bold, that's for sure. "Ah…Katniss." She shakes his hand tentatively just as Peeta walks into the studio. His eyes meet hers, and she gives him a knowing smile as he tosses his bag to the ground and sets his iPod on his bike. He shakes his head at her and his lips quirk as he watches her finish turning the seat lock.
The guy—Marvel—clears his throat. "So about my bike?"
Katniss breaks eye contact with Peeta and glances at Marvel her again. "I'm sorry?"
"My bike. You seem to know what you're doing so maybe you could take pity on a newbie?" He arches a brow at her and gives her another leering grin.
"Oh…I—" she begins.
"Did you need some help?"
Katniss pivots and finds Peeta standing in front of both bikes, his bright blue eyes a dark navy, and her breath hitches at the dangerous gleam in his eyes. "I'm good," she answers him confidently then gestures to Marvel. "But he's new and could use your expertise in adjusting his bike." She climbs onto her own bike and slips her feet into the pedals. "Peeta is the best. He'll help you." The guy's hopeful expression drops and Katniss hides a smile as Peeta guides him through the best handlebar and seat settings for his height.
She's just settled onto her own seat when she feels Peeta's breath tickle her ear. "Was this asshole hitting on you?"
Her lips curve into a sly smile. "I think he was trying."
Peeta's mouth barely grazes her lobe. "Too bad for him that you're taken, hmm?" He gently twists the diamond solitaire on her ring finger, repositioning it back to the center of the digit, and then reaches down to crank the dial on her resistance, removing most of the tension she had begun to load on. "Don't overdo it tonight, sweetheart, because I'm going to fuck you so hard when we get home."
Her smile stretches. "That's if we even make it home."